Ex-Erdoğan ally Babacan postpones establishment of new political party

Ali Babacan, Turkey’s former deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, has postponed plans to establish a new political party to rival the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Yeniçağ newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Babacan rolled up his sleeves to establish a new liberal party after resigning from the AKP in July, but has repeatedly postponed his plans since.

The politician was expected to announce the establishment of his party in December. He later postponed the announcement until mid-January.

According to Yeniçağ, with a new change in plans, the new party will be established mid-February. 

Babacan decided to reschedule the establishment of the party due to a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey’s eastern provinces Elazığ and Malatya last week, killing 41 people.

The new party’s officials continue examining membership applications, most of which have been submitted by former AKP members, Yeniçağ said.